The dark side of BC wine. When plagiarism sullies a new brand.


Painted Rock’s branding. The logo is understated, elegant, and sophisticated. I like it quite a bit. But even if it doesn’t “wow” you, I bet you would recognize it.

And along comes a new winery…..with a seemingly unlimited budget for building a spectacular, state-of-the-art new facility in Oliver. Years in the planning and building.

And, instead of finding their own branding, they use the same California-based design company. This design company makes this new company sign a waiver stating that if Painted Rock sues them, the design company is held harmless. This is the new winery’s logo and bottle (name of winery blacked out).



This new company knows, probably, that lawsuits are expensive, and they also probably have enough money backing them to drag it out in court for many years, making it even more costly for Painted Rock to protect their brand.

Just to be clear, nobody at Painted Rock asked me to make this post.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. But as long as they use this as their branding, I will not be visiting this winery, will not be reviewing their wines. They are dead to me.

This is appalling.


Next up: Back to the Okanagan trip report, as we start our next day at Little Engine!

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Wine blogger, foodie, traveler.

7 thoughts on “The dark side of BC wine. When plagiarism sullies a new brand.”

  1. 1. Shouldn’t the firm that created this logo be slammed first?
    2. Geesh who would pay good money to essentially replicate an existing logo?


    1. Say what you want about the design company, but they made the offending company sign a waiver. I don’t disagree with you, but I guess if they had refused the business the offending company could have just gone elsewhere. I don’t understand it, either.


  2. I have seen both logos and did not think they looked the same Or even all that similar

    A similar artistic style yes, but plagiarism is a huge stretch; also this style of symbol is seen is Asian cultures in various forms

    I would not ever confuse the two in a store

    I have enjoyed Painted Rock a lot over the years and while you won’t name the other winery, I have to say I have not yet visited Phantom Creek, but based on what I have heard I will likely enjoy them as well as PR in the coming years.


  3. Yea, I gotta agree with Kim; to call this plagiarism is a considerable stretch. The only similarity they share is that they are circular in shape. The logos are different colors, different designs, different bottle placement, different text, and format on the label entirely.

    Painted Rocks logo – A grey loop made of multiple lines and an offset grey circle. I can’t recall the meaning.

    Phantom Creeks – A gold and silver dragon in the shape of a circle? I’m not sure what it is.

    In any case, they are both circular, like many Okanagan labels. I made this handy picture just with the ones off the top of my head.

    If anything, you should be boycotting Little Engine. To be clear don’t boycott anyone, im being sarcastic.

    I have done a lot of work in both marketing and trademarking, and it is pretty standard for design firms to have clients sign waivers who are involved in the creative process. Covering your butt is pretty standard in this situation, whether you believe it is close or not. They do this specifically for this reason. Winery A releases a new label, and Winery B decides that it is to close to theirs. The first person they go to is the design firm and blame them. But the firm has a legally binding document that absolves them of any wrongdoing. They don’t care if it’s close or far, they are making sure they don’t get dragged into litigation, ever. Pretty common with any business type.

    The reason this hasn’t gone to court (as far as I know) is that both companies are probably smart enough to know that you can’t trademark a shape, and both their logos aren’t close enough to win. If you read even a few articles on either winery, it’s abundantly clear they both have enough money to fight if they want.

    The fact that you are saying nobody at Painted Rock asked you to write this, stating how appalled you are at a company for using a similar logo due to its shape, then jumping on any comment to this article in disagreement, screams the opposite. Not to mention having knowledge of them using the same firm, which I don’t think is common knowledge. I didn’t know it, and I know quite a bit about BC wine.

    I use to enjoy your articles, but this is some of the poorest writing I have ever seen. I am also appauled someone would write something like this about a local business during these times. Sickening.

    I don’t think I will be following you much longer if this is the kind of content you are putting out.


    1. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and you can certainly unfollow if you like. I stand by everything in this article. And just because I said that nobody at PR ASKED me to write this article, that doesn’t mean I didn’t get this information from reliable sources. And you are incorrect on why this hasn’t gone to court.


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